The Hero Pot | Lentil Vegetable Healing Soup

Split red lentils cook in just 10 minutes and are an awesome source of iron, protein, fiber, and disease fighting properties. And to me, they almost take like cheese! Ugh so GOOD!  I make a different version of this soup at least every week lately.  Broccoli and onions one day.  Zucchini and mushrooms another.  The ginger, turmeric though.  So divine.  Give this a try!

The Hero Pot

  • A large pot
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small chunk of ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground or fresh turmeric
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • ~6 cups filtered water
  • ~1/2 cup broccoli
  • ~1/2 cup celery
  • ~1/2 cup mushrooms
  • ~1/2 cup peas
  • Lime and avocado to garnish
  1. Prep ingredients: chop vegetables, mince garlic + ginger
  2. Sautee onions and garlic in pot in 1/3 cup of water (keep a jug of water nearby to add as needed)
  3. Add turmeric, lentils, sweet potato, and 5 cups of water and bring to boil for about 10 minutes
  4. Turn down heat to simmer and add in rest of ingredients to simmer for about 15 minutes
  5. Take your superhero medicine 😛 enjoy

 

11 Ways to Improve Endurance

 

So you wanna be a superhero? Me too. Let’s start with endurance.  I’ve got the research, now all you have to do is put in the effort. Here’s my 11 tips:

1. Train

Think you have to keel over to improve your endurance? Think again. According to the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 5th edition, studies have shown that endurance improvement favored those who had performed more zone 1 training.

80% of training should be done at intensities where speech is comfortable (zone 1) and only about 10% of training should be performed at intensities above VT2 (zone 3, where blood lactate increases significantly).

It would make sense that this 80% zone 1 training should, for the most part, be performed relatively high in zone 1.  So, if you are just getting into endurance activities like running, just getting started will improve your endurance.  However, to really get your speed up and improve, get a little uncomfortable with the “talk test.” Can you sing comfortably while you are running? If you can, then you can definitely try to go a little faster. Get on those hills, and laugh fearlessly at your struggles!

2. Hydrate

Did you know that muscles are 70-75% water? That’s right! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, muscle is only 15-20% protein, 5-7% fat, glycogen, and minerals.

Why is hydration important?

  • Temperature regulation
  • Blood volume + blood pressure
  • Keep organs, kidneys, cells, working optimally
  • Prevent dehydration

Things to consider:

  • Weather
  • Clothing
  • Your personal sweaty-ness

According to the American Counsel on Exercise (ACE):

  • ~4 hours before the event, drink 3-4 cups of water + weigh yourself
  • > during the event: definitely varies, but drink about ½ cup water every 20 minute
  • after event drink about 2 cups of water for every pound that you lost during the event

IMPORTANT: Prevent depletion in electrolytes like sodium and potassium as those are necessary for muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation which, if low can cause cramping, twitching and even heart issues. These electrolytes may be excreted with sweat

In general, water alone should be fine to rehydrate, but if it is extra humid or you lose 3% or more body weight during the event I recommend a natural electrolyte beverage like coconut water and / or datorade.

Dateorade:

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ lime or lemon, juiced
  • 2-3 dates
  • maybe a pinch of Himalayan salt or dulse flakes

Blend for about 1 minute. This provides natural sources of electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrients without the added colors, flavors, or refined sugars and is a great go-to beverage before, during, and after an event.

3. Carb Load Correctly

FACT: Activity that lasts longer than several hours depletes glycogen stores. Carbohydrates consumed during exercise helps endurance athletes maintain a fast pace; fat is used more efficiently for fuel as exercise continues. Protein is a very minor fuel source during endurance exercise.

PROTEIN: it is important for repairing tissues, making enzymes + hormones, transporting nutrients, making muscles contract, regulating water balance. However, if you don’t consume enough carbs for your high energy demands, the body will use protein for energy instead which is EXTREMELY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO YOUR PHYSICAL GOALS! Although protein may supply energy, extra amounts are not your best fuel. While carbs are stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen to be used for quick energy, excess protein is stored as fat, and not used for energy if you already consume enough calories. In general, protein should supply 10-35% of overall calorie intake which is met easily without powders or supplements in a balanced whole foods plant based diet. Since athletes usually eat more with a good appetite, they easily get the protein and nutrients they need. Protein requires more fluid in order to be metabolized because we need to excrete the toxic nitrogenous waste as urea so can lead to kidney issues, dehydration, cramping, and fatigue.

Energy need for endurance sports depends on body size, duration of activity, and overall effort. An elite athlete may need 4000-6000 calories daily, chosen from a high carbohydrate diet. Don’t worry about calculating your protein because if you are eating a balanced diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, and are eating enough calories, the protein in these foods will add up to be enough protein.

7 days before the event:

  • Days 1-3 Moderate-CHO diet of around 55% of calories, in general, recommendations are 45-65% of calories should come from carbohydrates
  • Days 4-6 Increase to high carbohydrate diet of about 80% of calories
  • Dinner before the event: >80% calories from carbohydrates

4. Four Hours Out:

Simple balanced meal should be fine. Try to keep it around 500 calories and under to prevent fatigue and slow gastric emptying. If you are nervous it is ok to eat less and eat more simple carbs like fruit or fruit juice 1-2 hours before the event

5. Pre Workout

While what you eat pre-workout is very important, it is essential that the previous workout was properly recovered from and that we eat a healthy balanced diet with adequate calories and nutrients on a daily basis.

Day of the event: If in the morning, I recommend staying light with datorade or fruit juice beverage. Within 1-2 hours of event, The food eaten should be around 200-300 calories, high in carbohydrate to maximize blood glucose availability, and low in fat and fiber to minimize GI distress and facilitate gastric emptying, it should be moderate to low in protein, and known to be well tolerated by you. A go to for before, during, and after workouts.

6. During Event

During extended training sessions, lasting longer than 1 hour, and especially in extreme heat, cold or high altitude, exercisers should consume 30-60g CHO / hr of training to maintain blood glucose levels.

30-60 grams of carbs looks like:

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 5-6 dates.

7. Post Workout

Eat in abundance! It is counterproductive for endurance athletes to restrict. The best meals post workout include an abundance of carbohydrates accompanied by some protein. ACE recommends about 2.2 grams of carbs for each pound of body weight to be eaten within the first 30 minutes after exercise and then every 2 hours for 4-6 hours. A diet of whole plant foods consisting of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruit that is sufficient in calories should provide adequate post-workout carbohydrates and protein.

8. Prevent Pain

Prevent oxidative stress and reduce cell damage and muscle pain with: Antioxidants

  • Antioxidant power aka the power to protect our cells from damage was significantly increased with banana beverage versus plain carbohydrate beverage
  • Cherry juice was shown to decrease perceived pain significantly in runners versus placebo cherry flavored drink
  • There are lots of studies out there on various plant foods, when choosing fuel to prevent pain, recover quickly I recommend whole plant foods

9. Improve Oxygen Utilization

Yes, Nitrates are components in plant foods like beets, spinach, celery, and arugula that can cause athletes to perform intensely with less oxygen needed. Crazy!

In a study with cyclists, beet juice compared to current juice improved oxygen utilization by a whopping 20% which is quite significant. Drinking beet juice is so powerful that it can bring someones high blood pressure down within 3 hours. Also, pharmaceutical companies use this concept for patients with chest pain to help with blood flow. These drugs are called nitroglycerines. You know another nitrate drug? It’s called Viagra and it certainly improves blood flow but you might as well just eat your vegetables.

How do nitrates work? Bacteria in our saliva convert it to nitric oxide. HOWEVER be sure to not use antibacterial mouth wash because this has been shown to deplete healthy mouth bacteria and therefore inhibit the conversion of nitrate to nitric oxide to allow us to oxygenate our blood.

10. Build Blood

Think you don’t need to eat your greens? Ever been to a smoothie joint that sold wheatgrass shots? One thing that wheatgrass juice is dense in is that dark green pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to increase hemoglobin in anemic rabbits. Hemoglobin is the component of blood that carries oxygen and as you can see is very similar to chlorophyll in dark leafy green vegetables. I recommend eating about 5 cups of leafy greens daily.

11. Adequate REST

Symptoms can be both physiological and emotional and are highly individualized.

Signs/ symptoms of overtraining:

  • decline in performance with continued training
  • sleep disturbances
  • weight loss
  • multiple colds / frequent sickness
  • irritability, restlessness, anxiousness
  • loss of motivation / vigor
  • lack of mental concentration / focus
  • lack of appreciation for things that are normally enjoyable

Best way to prevent overtraining is with periodization: alternate easy, moderate, and hard periods of training. Generally, one or two days of intense training should be followed by an equal number of easy training days. A week or two of hard training should be followed by a week or two of easier effort.

Today you learned

about hydration, the talk test, carbohydrate loading, what to eat pre, during, and post workout, how to prevent muscle soreness, how to increase oxygen utilization and how to build blood and prevent overtraining. Get out there and awaken your inner athlete! Give this video a thumbs up, leave your comments below, and remember. Deep down, you truly are a morning person. Wake up and live, Reines and shine!

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Doping with Beet Juice” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/doping-with-beet-juice/

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Enhanced Athletic Recovery Without Undermining Adaptation” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/enhanced-athletic-recovery-without-undermining-adaptation/

Cherry Juice Study: G. Howatson, M. P. McHugh, J. A. Hill, J. Brouner, A. P. Jewell, K. A. van Someren, R. E. Shave, S. A. Howatson. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 20(6):843 – 852.

Beet Juice Study: Bailey SJ, Winyard P, Vanhatalo A, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology. August 6, 2009. 107: 1144-1155.

Antibacterial Mouthwash and Nitric Oxide: Goconi M, Janasson E, Weitzberg E, et al. The increase in plasma nitrite after a dietary nitrate load is markedly attenuated by an antibacterial mouthwash. Elsevier. 2008. 2: 171-177.

Anemic Rabbits Study: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

RL Duyff. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

American Council on Exercise: https://www.acefitness.org/

Healthy Pasta TASTE TEST + 4 Reasons Why I STILL Avoid Gluten

 

Pasta. What a delectable vehicle for vegetables!  Add your favorite beans, steamed veggies, and tomato sauce and BOOM! An impressive gourmet dinner.  While intact grains are the gold standard (grains in their whole form), whole grains, yes including their bran, germ, and endosperm, are milled into a fine flour to make whole grain pastas, breakfast cereals, and other “whole grain” products.  A few examples of legit whole intact grains would be steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

wholegrains

How to tell if the product is WHOLE GRAIN?

  1. Whole grain stamp is on the package
  2. “100%” or “Whole” are used to describe it
  3. The first ingredient listed is a whole grain

refinedgrains

Refined grains are not only grains milled into a flour, but their grain was stripped of the nutrient and fiber containing bran and germ! Murder! Refined grains are white / light in color and examples include white bread, cookies, cakes, pretzels, white rice, regular pasta, and anything made with white flour. Darn!

Don’t fret too much! The recommendation is:

Make at least 1/2 of your grains whole grains.

Grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet for fiber, iron,powerplategraphichirez magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, and lasting energy! Be sure to include them on your plate.

The Taste Test

Well before #1, my personal favorite is ZUCCHINILINI OF COURSE! Which is simply zucchini or summer squash, spirilized to look and feel like spaghetti. I like to mix it with pasta dishes to add bulk, flavor, color, and more veg of course!

#1 Nature’s Promise Whole Wheat Spaghetti: #1 in taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Contains gluten.

#2. Bionaturae Gluten Free Corn and Soy Spaghetti: Fabulous texture and taste and with 5g protein and 6% iron, this product is ok. Low in fiber :-/

#3. Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: Quite sticky texture, but great flavor and elasticity.  Would go great with a sauce. However, low in fiber although whole grain. Brown rice is naturally low in fiber.

 

#4. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Corn and Quinoa Spaghetti: Texture dry and kinda crunchy, but a good source of fiber at 16% daily value and 10% iron!

#5. Andean Dream Quinoa Gluten Free Spaghetti: Texture was definitely a little sandy.  But I must say with 6% calcium, 12% iron, and just barely a good source of fiber at 10% daily value, not bad.

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The Consensus:

The quinoa based gluten free products have a better nutritional profile, but are not as delicious as the lower fiber rice based ones.

Why I personally still avoid Gluten?

Do I go out of my way to avoid gluten?

No.  I still enjoy it in moderation. My mom makes homemade bread and pizza with gluten which I eat occasionally.  My diet is whole foods based, so I rarely purchase packaged products that might contain gluten.

Do I eat gluten every day?

No.  Maybe I eat a gluten containing meal or snack 3-4 times a week.  I am generally healthy and do not currently feel any reason to put more effort into seriously avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and foods containing gluten 100% of the time.

Why I make this personal choice:

  1. My sister has ulcerative colitis, which is similar to celiacs in that they are both autoimmune inflammatory intestinal disorders. With a genetic risk factor in my family, I try to not over load the gluten as a personal preventative measure.
  2. Studies linking gluten and autism spectrum disorders autism-and-nutrition-1. The GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet has been shown to help people with ADHD and autism, what else could it be linked to? I am ever curious and after reading such articles have trouble stomaching gluten (and of course would never recommend drinking milk).
  3. Naturopaths recommend avoiding gluten initially when trying to avoid inflammation with an “elimination diet,” along with dairy and other common inflammatory trigger foods. With this in mind, many people have success reversing adverse symptoms like rashes, IBS, fatigue, etc (SO MANY), once they remove gluten from their diet.  I grew up with canker sores, weird rashes, and eczema so, avoiding inflammation (and gluten) is in my best interest.
  4. Close friends with celiac disease so it is easier for everybody to find a gluten free delicious option!

While as you could see from the video, a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general public because it tends to have less nutrients. Be a savvy shopper and let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy those intact whole grains and plant yums! xx

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The Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life | Vegan, Cheap, Meat Eater Approved

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Last week I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Washington DC for a plant based dietitian job interview at the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.  They had me stay at their guest house, The Baker House, with interns who are occupants there for the summer.  If you haven’t already heard of the PCRM, it is an organization whose mission is ultimately to provide evidence based expertise to save the world. You can imagine how nervous/excited this wanna-be superhero was for this interview!!!

Back to the ziti- The ladies residing at The Baker House, Sofie and Catherine, are two brilliant, friendly, open minded vegans that became my close friends insanely quickly.  Catherine has made this dish a bunch of times and raved how it is always a win. Girl- you got that right!  Pool money to make dinner and eat it together!? Of course!!! Which lead me to enjoy the dish that I am sure will get anyone to give more vegan meals a try. Thank you ladies!

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Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life

Adapted from One Green Planet’s Recipe

Ingredients (total cost at Whole Foods: $21)

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 24oz jar marinara sauce (we used an organic fat-free option plus some that was already open in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds (we used 1 bag of daiya shredded mozzarella)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (we used 1/2 of a container of tofutti)

Steps

  1. Boil water and cook ziti to manufacturer’s instructions and preheat oven to 425*F
  2. For ‘ricotta’: crumble tofu in a large bowl and add in nutritional yeast (or parmesan), salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix fully with a fork or large spoon.
  3. Mix the cooked pasta, most of the marinara sauce, and ricotta in a large bowl
  4. In a large baking pan, add some marinara to line the bottom, transfer the mixture in, and spread it out evenly.
  5. Top with the rest of the marinara and finally the layer of mozzarella shreds
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake ~20 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Eat with a side of greens and those people who actually get you and still like you! 😉 xo
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Catherine, Sofie, and I eating takeout from ‘Hip City Veg’ on the Smithsonian Steps

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History in the Making: Dietitians of South Texas Tour Their New 100% Organic Grocery Store

In a city of McDonalds, Whataburger, Wal-Mart, obesity and diabetes, a world saving beacon of health and sustainability opens; fully equipped with the highest quality produce/products, demonstration kitchen, vitamins/herbs/supplements, beauty products, books, and, it’s love!

natural grocers
Natural Grocers 100% Organic Grocery Opens March 15, 2016

Today, I had the opportunity to get a tour of the store with the Corpus Christi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics group lead by the wonderful dietitian there, Kelsey. I was extremely impressed by this tour. A grocery store tour to dietitians? Please, as if they could learn anything more, but we all did! Like how Kelsey pointed out that the hemp seeds, walnuts, and other unstable fats are kept in the refrigerated section (polyunsaturated fats become rancid very easily, creating free radicals, so they must be kept cool). I have learned this previously but I have never seen a grocery store actually put their nuts and seeds in the refrigerator!

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The sign above us says, “100% organic produce,” yes, I am the obnoxious intern that made everybody get in front of the produce section and asked the cashier to take our picture 🙂

The Tour~

Kristen gave us all a LONG list of things that Natural Grocers will NOT carry.  Including ingredients that I am quite familiar with like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), bleached flours, parabens (mimic estrogen and cause reproductive disorders), dairy products from cows given rBGH (recombinant  Bovine Growth Hormone), artificial sweeteners (all of them), and artificial colors and flavors, as well as so many that I have seen before but even (a nutrition nerd grad student studying nutrition) have seen but no clue what they are!

Ingredients like DBP (dibutyl phthalate) which is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent that is a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin.  Also, BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that have been shown to be carcinogenic and cause allergic reactions in humans.  I could go on..This place doesn’t even carry chemical based sunscreens or antibacterial soaps! Amen!

A few more reasons why I’m in love with this place:

  • No bags, you have to bring your own! (or they use a cardboard box)
  • GF (gluten free) items are all marked clearly next to price on shelf
  • Local is emphasized and marked clearly with a Texas flag on shelf
  • Lots of cheap “Health Hotline” sale items
  • Bulk specialty items from mulberries and goji berries to raw buckwheat groats
  • WIDE variety of vegan items
  • Reverse osmosis water filter, only $0.25 to refill a gallon
  • Nutrition experts- these people know their stuff!
  • To reduce waste and cut cost of items: no deli/freshly prepared items (ever wonder where all the fresh baked goods from Whole Foods goes at the end of the day? Yup, in the trash #wasteful. !
  • No self serve bulk bins but still has large packages of items in bulk – reduces contamination and food waste
  • Huge wall of shelves with high quality nutritional reference and cookbooks

They even have cool events like this Saturday they have a gluten free tasting expo and health fair! Aw chocolate avocado pie food demo, and “How to live an alkaline lifestyle” is on Monday April 11th. Check out their website for more info on events.

A little bit about my internship…

I can’t believe it, I completed my food service and community rotations last semester and am now half way through my clinical rotation! Eeek! As a snob from the Boston area who  works at a raw vegan cafe called “Organic Garden Cafe” back home, I was nervous that I wouldn’t get to learn new innovations of nutrition while working as an intern in a program that emphasizes the low income communities of South Texas.

I could not be more pleasantly surprised and excited about my feelings towards this internship right now.  It brings me such joy and power to have worked with the people of this community. Diabetics who do not know what a carbohydrate is, teen mom’s going out for a cigarette, and people who are truly afraid to lose weight because they have (and their family and friends) have always been big, so if they lost weight, what would they think!? Many of these people do not want to change, and even if they did, where to even start? As my sister, the writer, put it, “You need to learn the script before you can re-write a new one.

My clinical preceptor now, Shannon Aguilar, has helped me to not only be a much more confident clinical dietitian, but to take it a step further, too.  It is one thing to study nutrition, it is quite another to actually care enough to reflect on our own lives and practice what we preach.  My preceptor, Mrs. Aguilar, is more than a dietitian, she is also a health coach, and helped me to see how important it is to learn who our audience is before we try to help.

Seeing a grocery store like this open in Boston or Vermont would have been a, yawn. Another natural grocery? But, HERE! I get to see history in the making. These people having access to this kind of world saving expertise is dream come true for me.

There is something really cool about the idea of helping people who really need it AND want it. I could talk coconut oil and kale to the organic junkies back home all day every day, but that doesn’t reverse our obesity epidemic now does it? I may have thought that my second round match was a mistake, but actually, it was the best eye-opening and invigorating experience.  To be able to explain what a carbohydrate is to someone who has no clue? Check. Next: to reverse their disease through diet and lifestyle! No matter where I end up, I hope to make a positive impact and continue to be pleasantly surprised by all that I learn from the experience.

So This Is Growing Up

Responsibility: Response. Ability.

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Mary, Me, Gracie, Mama, and Dad in front of the Beering fountain after graduation

Congratulations Graduate!?

I was never fond of sitting down and homeworking.. graduating has been the most epic milestone of my life for sure. What started as the craziest crowd surfing, football cheering, themed party-going all year slumber party ended as a isolated, library loving, caffeine craving, exam odyssey.  To all the nights I felt alive and to all the nights I wanted to die.. Looking back, I am glad I took on the adventure, I learned more than I ever thought I would.

You’re Ready.

Hyundai Elantra <3
Hyundai Elantra ❤

Two words, lingering. They should make me ecstatic, but instead leave me feeling overwhelmed and wary.  My dad hands me the keys to my new mode of transportation: a gorgeous, sleek, smooth Hyundai elantra.  I know I should be jumping for joy, but all of a sudden, the responsibility of life is real, and my father thinks I am ready for it.

How Does It Feel?

Excited AND scared. People keep asking me “so, how does it feel?!” And, I don’t really know. I feel strange. Excited for new beginnings, yet sad about the closure with the wonderful life and friends I had at Purdue. I already had a nightmare that I forgot to study for an exam… glad THAT’S over!! If you ask me how I feel, don’t expect a straight answer, I could start crying (happens every time when I listen to Tay Swift’s “Never Grow Up”) or I could smile with excitement. I feel both.

Now What?

Y’all, I am headin’ to Texas! I am going to the combined Masters and Dietetic Internship program at Texas A&M University.  It will be another rigorous adventure!  I hope to pass the RD exam, go to Dr. T Colin Campbell’s Plant Based Nutrition Course, maybe even get to see California and go to Living Light Culinary School, who knows! I hope to get a camera and get more recipes up with videos too! Let me know what you think you see me doing in the future- I have no idea really, as long as I don’t have to take life TOO seriously ;-).  Teaching yoga and food-demoing? Of course! I’d love to be able to help as many people as I can.  ❤

Thank you all for the support. Do keep in touch!

xoxo Reines

Enjoy and Control Your Health: Introducing My Mindful Eating Video!

….Whoever said you needed to give up ____ to be healthy, never heard of mindful eating.  Whether trying to lose weight, combat cravings, or simply enjoy food even more, the benefits to mindful eating are endless.

Learn to Stop Mindless Eating

As a senior studying dietetics who has learned the hard way that taking the stress out on my food never helps the way I want it to, I am beyond excited to share this short video that I put together for my Nutrition Communications class so you can start achieving your life-long health goals with mindful eating.

Anna (left) and Katie ((me!) right) dive deep into statistics and research
Anna (left) and Katie ((me!) right) dive deep into statistics and research

Find Out: What Is Mindful Eating?

Pause, take a deep breath, and flex your savor muscle.  Just like any skill, it takes practice to get good at it.  It is asking yourself, what does the food look like?  Where did it come from? Why am I eating it? What does it smell like…sound like…feel like? Do I like it?  What do I like about it?  How does it feel when I chew it?  Is it crunchy? Moist? Hot?

Get Advice From An Expert

Registered Dietitian Rachel Clark of Purdue University discusses what mindful eating is, how it has benefitted her clients, and how to get started eating more mindfully.
Registered Dietitian Rachel Clark of Purdue University discusses what mindful eating is, how it has benefitted her clients, and how to get started eating more mindfully.

I incorporated knowledge from the professor who initially taught me about mindful eating, Rachel Clark, MS, RD, CSST into the video.  She taught me how mindful eating is about eating without distractions or negative judgement, and enjoying the foods you like with acceptance.

Will it be effective for you?

Learn how to recognize triggers for eating. Just taking a second to take a deep breath and rationalize emotions can help to take just one candy bar and savor it- instead of 5 and still wanting more.
Learn how to recognize triggers for eating. Just taking a second to take a deep breath and rationalize emotions can help to take just one candy bar and savor it- instead of 5 and still wanting more.

Would you believe that people actually make healthier choices and have effortless weight loss when they eat whatever they want whenever they want, mindfully?

At least once a day, practice mindful eating.

This means stop, and do nothing, but eat.  Yes, turn off the t.v., close the laptop, and take even just 5 minutes to enjoy it.  Pay attention and appreciate its taste and texture, and be grateful for the food and where it came from.

To Watch The Video: Click HERE

Chicago Vegan Mania

I helped to establish a brand new group at Purdue University called Be Veg At Purdue by undertaking the role of treasurer and managing finances.  It is a challenging learning experience, and I absolutely love it!  Making new like-minded friends and coming together to make the world a better place ❤ Taking a van to Chicago Vegan Mania was our second event of the semester and it was INCREDIBLE!

chiveganmaniaaaWhat a dream come true!  There were professional presentations, talks, food demos, Q&A panels, food vendors and vegan people and products up that wazoo!!

The highlight of my day was attending Chef AJ’s Demo! She was a RIOT! What a comedian with singing and silliness!  Too much fun in the kitchen!  Not only was she entertaining, but she was brilliant.  I was presently suprised by her nutrition knowledge and expertise.  I highly recommend checking her out and watching her videos with Julieanna Hever, The Plant Based Dietitian.  Amazing source for truly healthy recipes that are also truly delicious!

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Robert Cheeke, Mike Vlasaty, and Karen Calabrese were all there too!  I am such a huge fan!  But was too caught up in all of the excitement to get to meet everybody.  It was way to exciting running around meeting people and stuffing myself with vegan junk food.  What a treat!  So glad the Be Veg At Purdue Club got me to be able to come to such a great event!  We hope to put on an event like this sometime in the future!  If you want to present at Purdue for an event like this, email me at k.reines1@gmail.com!

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P.S. I so would have overloaded this post with pictures if my phone wasn’t broken!  So much amazing foodporn, was seriously trippin about not having a camera :-/  Sorry loves!  Happy Eating Healthy! ❤ ❤ ❤

chiveganMANIA

Protein, Protein, Protein

Are you eating enough protein?? Better question: Are you eating too much protein?! Nowadays people will buy into anything to get the results they are looking for. As a dietetics student, I have taken the classes and done the credible research, all that creatine, whey, and meat your piling on is doing you more harm than good.

Protein in Plants

According to our campus dietitian, Michelle Singleton, we only need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein isn’t listed as a percent value on the nutrition label, because the recommended intake varies so much since it is dependent on an individual’s body weight. To get your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, if you weigh 130lbs: 130 / 2.2 = 59kg. 0.8 x 59 = 47.2 grams of protein per day. You would be amazed at how easy this is to meet.

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Various online nutrient content websites show that we can get:
6.5 grams of protein from only 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds
6.9 grams of protein from only 1 cup of sprouted lentils
5.7 grams of protein from only 2 cups of kale
5.3 grams of protein from only 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
7.9 grams of protein from only 1 cup of green peas
6 grams of protein from only 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
9.1 grams of protein from only 3 ounces of goji berries
3.9 grams of protein from only 3 medium sized bananas
3.7 grams of protein from only 3 oranges

That’s already 7 grams over the amount of protein this person would need of energizing, high fiber, hydrating, and high vibrational protein! And did you know one large egg has 6.3 grams of protein?! Compare that to the list! Also, according to Dr. Sedlock, my exercise physiology professor, there are 28 grams in 1 ounce. So, taking our example from before, if you weigh 130 pounds, you need 47.2 grams of protein per day. If there are 28 grams in an ounce, then we could divide 47.2 / 28 to figure out how many ounces of protein that is. Turns out it is only 1.7 ounces. The serving size of a piece of meat is 3-4 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards! With this in mind- supplementing on protein with whey or eating three chickens for dinner is extremely unnecessary.

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According to my Advanced Human Macronutrient Metabolism professor, Kim Buhman, there is no storage place for protein in the body. The carbon skeleton gets turned into glucose (possibly stored as fat), fatty acids, ketone bodies, or cholesterol, and the nitrogen (amino acids are made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen), is toxic to the body and has to get excreted through urea either in urine (mostly), feces, or other places like hair, nails, and sweat (which gives you rancid body odor and strong smelling piss). So, it is really easy to measure if a person is getting enough or too much protein in their diet by measuring the amount of nitrogen that they excrete. A graduate student did a nitrogen balance study here at Purdue by comparing the excretions of a population with controlled protein intakes at various amounts. The student’s findings were that only 0.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day were necessary. Buhman’s lecture also taught me that the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for protein is only 0.63 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The EAR is an average; it is what is thought to be sufficient for 50% of the population; whereas the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.83 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The RDA is meant to be sufficient for 97% of the population. It is clear that in order to be sure most people are getting enough protein, they bump up the requirements from the EAR to the RDA to ensure if people meet the RDA, they are definitely consuming enough protein! That said- any more than the RDA is overkill!

Metabolizing all of these amino acids is complex business. Don’t make your body work harder than it has to- you’re already such a hard worker as it is! High protein diets can cause a whole slew of issues, the minor ones feeling and fatigued and, grumpy with horrible body odor, to acidosis issues (cancer grows in an acidic body). Don’t get me wrong, if you are a burn victum, or a division 1 athlete, by all means your cells are breaking down and regenerating quite rapidly, and you might want to take in more protein. But wait, what was protein deficiency called again? Oh ya, kworshiorkor. Don’t hear that one too often. Dream big, and carb up!